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Rasputin, The Voice of the Dragon — Review & Hopes on What’s to Come

9 Nov

3001268.jpgBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Dark Horse Comic‘s Rasputin, The Voice of the Dragon has an official street date of November 15th, and any fan of this character from the Hellboy series will finally be able to get inside this evil sorcerer’s head! The first issue serves as an introduction and later issues will look deeper into this antagonist’s backstory. With this title, another tale is unfolding.

Hellboy has not arrived on Earth yet, and Trevor Bruttenholm’s journey to be confident to this antihero is also just beginning. His “abiding interest in the occult” sees him chasing after ghosts, or rather geists, thinking there is a code nestled within it to reveal the Nazi’s plan for world conquest. Little do the Allies know, the Germans are seeking their own warlords. Eventually, both side’s masters of the occult will clash.

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A Trendy or Cool Japan? These Case Studies will Enlighten! A Book Review

26 Oct

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Tim Craig’s Cool Japan is an excellent study in nearly everything a student of Japanese pop culture will want to know more of and get answers to those aspects he or she is afraid to ask. If the product can be exported out of the country to experience then it is explored here. Specific companies are examined in this collection of essays, and the big three — traditional culture, popular culture and business — are looked at in synchronicity. The topics include nearly every aspect of the entertainment scene. Foodies will take delight in two chapters too (more on this later).

From the music industry to Sumo culture and even video games, the breadth of knowledge this author reveals (some units are in collaboration with others) is amazing. To take a look at the differences between Japanese games and Western ones is just one tiny part of this particular chapter. Not everyone knows about the details behind the merger of Square(soft) and Enix, and what it meant from a financial standpoint.

The title of this publication is aptly named as it is also the name of the initiative the Japanese government started back in 2010. The goal is to broaden the greatness of this country’s most exportable products and “capitalize commercially on the worldwide popularity of Japanese manga, anime, film, TV dramas, fashion, food, and other cultural products. It was also a response to the widely noted fact that—despite exceptions like Pokémon, Studio Ghibli and Sanrio’s Hello Kitty—Japan’s cultural industries were underperforming internationally. Despite the global popularity of their products, Japan’s cultural creators were earning far less than their counterparts in the United States and South Korea.”

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“Victoria’s Most Haunted” Gets A New Book by Ian Gibbs!

7 May

51nsewsef1l-_sx322_bo1204203200_By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Presentation at Bolen Books 
1644 Hillside Ave #111
on May 9, 7pm

Many long-time residents of Victoria, British Columbia will not dispute the fact that this garden city is haunted. More ghosts are said to spook specific streets here, and most of the downtown core and neighbouring districts are covered in Ian Gibb’s debut book, “Victoria’s Most Haunted.”

From bars to homes to restaurants and schools, this variety of sites is welcome. A few places are missed — some of which I had the fortune to check out during my time with PARAVI, a local paranormal investigative society (understandably not mentioned in the book because it’s no longer in operation) — but to get every story crammed in means obtaining permission not only from the group but also from the current business operators to talk about them.

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Rating He-Man & The Masters of the Universe Compendium

19 Apr

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Everything you ever wanted to know about He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (MoTU and She-Ra too) can be found in A Character Guide and World Compendium (available to preorder on Amazon), due to hit shelves May 10th. This voluminous tome is perfectly organized into sections to make finding information quick, and the fact the entries are further subdivided, based on either the toy-line, comics or animated series, makes for a great way for fans of this franchise to keep the facts straight!

Of course, I had to read the entry for Skeletor and The Sorceress right away. The sheer amount of information found for these two is staggering, and I love the dedication the research team put forth to collect images from various sources (including foreign adaptations) and photograph (i.e. the toys) to include. Even though some of the information can be found online at a wiki source, there’s something to this atlas which makes for a great conversation piece among nerds. The bonus of ownership is that this codex is reasonably priced.

While it will take time to read through all the entries in prep before a game of MoTU Trivial Persuit, I’m ready!

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